Help Your Child With Reading

Monday, February 23, 2009

Many parents these days want to help their child as much as possible with their education, and for many that means reading. Get it wrong, and you can create a life-long resistance to picking up a book. Get it right, and you are giving your child the tools to access the whole school curriculum and a source of pleasure for life.
Create a reading culture in your home. If your child sees that books are valued in your home and that reading is something that you like doing, he will see books and reading as part of his life. You cannot expect your child to pick up a book if he never sees you do it!
Start young. Children need books before they can read. Wooden and cloth books have many merits - they are virtually indestructible and your child can learn to turn the pages and look at the pictures. Believe it or not, some children get to school age without ever seeing a book.
Make reading part of the routine. Read a bedtime story to preschool children every night. Your child will have favorites which he will enjoy time and time again until both you and he know every word of it by heart. Stick with it! This familiarity breeds confidence and a sense of ownership.
Join the library. Books are expensive, and you will need a variety of stories even if your child apparently doesn't! Also, having a library card makes you a member of a club - a community of readers. As children get older, choosing their own books gives them a sense of control, as well as responsibility for the book they have borrowed.

Sit next to them on the couch to listen to what they're reading.
Sit next to them on the couch to listen to what they're reading.
Listen to your child read. When your child is of school age, they will start to bring "readers" home with them. Have your child read them aloud to you, but keep it to 5-10 minutes at first. Encourage them to "sound out" new words, or look for clues in the pictures. Be patient and use praise, not criticism.
Find out what methods and reading schemes your child's school have adopted so that you can support them. Talk to your child's teacher too and ask for hints and tips. They do this for a living, but they can almost never give a child the one-on-one time that you can.
Use audio books to encourage independent reading. Give your child the book and the audio version and let them read along with the spoken word version. This allows children to access material which is slightly too advanced, but it also allows them to gain confidence and a sense of independence.
Talk to your child and explain to them the meaning of words. Point to objects and explain their meaning in the course of your daily activities and play together.
Use sounds, songs, gestures and words that rhyme to help your child understand language and its subtle variations.
Have books and other reading materials easily accessible in your home where your child can easily reach them.
Show a good example by letting your child see you reading books, newspapers and magazines.
Have fun with it. Reading should be something that you and your child can bond over, so enjoy spending quality time together.

Reluctant readers can often be tempted with books which do not require a great investment of time on the part of the reader. Poetry, short stories, graphic novels, comics, fun factual books like the "Horrible Histories" series and those which explain how things work can all make great starting points.

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Calm Down After a Long Day

Stress is something that builds and builds, and after a long hard day all someone wants to do when they get home is relax. Actually unwinding can be easier said than done sometimes, so here are some helpful steps.

Find a low energy activity that you can enjoy. This activity will help you be able to take your mind's focus off of everyday worries. This activity really depends on each person and can vary from each individual. Some suggested activities are; reading a book, taking a bubble bath, cooking your favorite meal, and watching your favorite movie. Which ever activity you choose just make sure it is something peaceful and that you can really enjoy. Remember that this should mostly be an activity done alone.
Turn off any distractions before you start on your road of relaxing. Cell-phones, computers, and televisions are constant stimulation and a connection to the outside world. These devices can keep you from being able to forget about everyday hustle and can stop you from having time to yourself.
Take off any restrictive everyday clothing, such as jeans or work shoes, and put on lounge wear or pyjamas. Any clothes that allow you to feel your most comfortable, such as slippers or a sweatshirt, are perfect.
Start the activity that you would like to focus on after you've got as comfortable as possible. If you've chosen a quieter activity, like taking a bubble bath or cooking, then playing some soothing music in the background might help. Aromatherapy candles can also help your body get in a more relaxed state. If you chose a sitting activity, such as reading a book or watching a movie, then make sure you're in an environment where you have few interruptions. Lots of pillows and blankets are also good to have while sitting down.
Get some sleep. After you really feel you've calmed down and relaxed, then it's time for bed. Put on some mellow music, climb under some comfy covers, and crash out!

If you happen to be coming home to a house with children then arranging for a babysitter to help look after them will allow for a little time to yourself.
Try to get clocks and watches out of your view sight so you do not feel like you're under time restrictions.
Watch out for babies/children/brothers/sisters etc., as they can wake you up.
Using the Internet will not necessarily calm you down; in fact, it can have quite the opposite effect, so be careful about using it to "keep calm".

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Have a Good Family Life

Despite the perfect picture families that always seem to loom over us on television, posters and bill boards, there are many more complexities and dynamics to families than all smiles and laughter. All families are different, and all families have their own issues, but with the right amount of work and determination, you can make your family life the best it can be, by developing your relationships and learning more about yourself and your relatives. No one's family life is perfect; but you can make yours good, so why not?

Respect your parents. Do this not just by giving them respect, but by listening to what they say and trying your best to make them happy. Realize that you may be able to choose your friends, but you're born to your family. If there's nothing you can do to please your parents, you'll be happier if you just accept it for now and focus on pleasing yourself. Making others happy is secondary to being happy yourself. And things do change over time.
Realize that life is not always going to go smoothly. Try to face the "ups and downs" in your family life with positive thinking and a cool mind. But your family doesn't have the right to make you miserable just because they're family. Try to get along, but if it doesn't work, let it go.
Try to compromise whenever and wherever it's possible. When you see that the people who you love most are happy, you will have a feeling of great happiness. You will have to compromise a lot in life; family is the first environment to begin learning this important skill, amongst people who know you best and can guide you with their reactions, thoughts and suggestions. Even the things they don't tell you become a learning experience.
Give occasional gifts to your family members. Surprise gifts can be great because most people love them. The best gifts tend to be the ones you make yourself, or put a lot of thought into. Also appreciated are gifts of your time; doing tasks around the house that haven't been done for a while such as painting touch-ups, restoring missing door handles etc. and clearing away clutter.
Be honest with your parents, but bear in mind that they don't always need to know everything. If you get along well, you can open up, but if you don't, avoiding tender subjects can keep the peace. Sometimes saying nothing can be better for a family relationship than saying everything. Family is forever. Why fight about the little things?
Feel free to communicate with each and every person in your family. Listen to them when they want to say something; try to be with them when they need you. Bear in mind that the needs of your family don't outweigh your own. Give them your time and love, not your life.
7. Dedicate a slot, it may be once a week or once a month in which you have a 'Family Time'. This could be anything, watching a movie together, playing a game, going out on a trip, but make sure it is something everyone will enjoy.
Eat together. Modern-day life makes this virtually impossible to do, however, it really does change your family life dramatically -- for the better.
Make time for siblings. They know you best, and they will tell you the whole truth, even when you don't want to hear it. As we grow up, our relationships with siblings may not be as strong as we think, but when you're older you may find yourself grateful for the work you put in now. Be supportive, encouraging and honest.
Accept that your relationship with your family depends on both you and them. If they can't meet you halfway, you will be happier if you don't spend all of your energy making all the effort.

Be patient.
Compromise is the most valuable tool you have.
Sometimes families are just dysfunctional. It happens. You come first.
Don't put everything down to hormones. If your teenager feels reluctant to talk to you, he or she may be upset about something or being bullied. Ask if everything is okay.

Family members are never entitled to be abusive. If they are, don't waste your time. They can't always be won over with patience and kindness. Stay out of toxic situations when you can.

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Cross Train

Cross training is the concept of including many, and more importantly, a variety of activities in your workout. The added variety works different systems and/or sections and therefore provides a balanced workout. It also keeps you from getting bored and increases the chances of sticking to your program.

Realistically analyze your level of physical fitness and scale the intensity of every workout to levels you can handle. As usual consider consulting a physician before starting a new workout routine.
Make a list of activities available to you and cross out the ones you won't enjoy. For example, although swimming is a wonderful form of exercise, if there isn't a body of water or swimming pool nearby you won't be doing much of it. Or if you don't like to swim, you won't stick to your program, simple as that.
Divide the activities into three broad categories:
* Aerobic exercises are exercises that improve circulation and overall cardiovascular health. Aerobic exercises feature light loads but the movement is repeated many times. Walking, jogging, climbing some stairs are classical examples.
* Strength training is increasing muscle strength and mass throughout the body. It is characterized by large loads lifted for short periods or in small bursts. Most of the weird machines you see in a gym and all the exercises done with free weights are for strength training.
* Flexibility is pretty self explanatory; prevents muscle tissue from getting bundled up and prevents soreness. The stretching exercises will increase flexibility.
Cross training is a concept rather than a program, and it simply means generate a program that includes exercises from all the three categories mentioned above.
As a rule of thumb try to do flexibility work everyday, aerobic exercises three times a week and strength training twice a week. Unless you are coached or are sure you know what you're doing, don't do strength training on consecutive days. If you find that you are overwhelmed, DO NOT reduce the number of times per week you do the exercises, simply reduce the intensity; run three time a week but run slower/less, lift twice a week but lift lighter weights etc.
Keep in mind that not every exercise has to be out of a textbook. Flexibility is as simple as trying to touch your toes. Moving around some furniture or picking up your kids and putting them down 10 times in a row could be some nice strength training. Gardening, trying to do all the chores in one day or dancing are excellent aerobic exercises.

Always make sure you are capable of handling the physical activity you are about to start. You should also consult a doctor, at least to hear his/her opinion.

Need Your Roofing Replace?

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Know if You Have Insomnia

Are you having sleepless nights? Do you suspect that you are suffering from insomnia? Are you looking for a cure for what you think might be insomnia? Since you can't cure what you don't have, before searching for and trying a cure, it might be a good idea to confirm that you actually do have insomnia. Here is how you can know whether or not you actually do have insomnia.

1. Do you have any of the following symptoms:
Difficulty falling asleep, which can mean lying in bed for up to an hour or more, perhaps tossing and turning, wishing for sleep to begin.
Waking up during sleep and having trouble getting back to sleep.
Waking up too early in the morning.
Feeling unrefreshed when you wake up.
Feeling irritable, lethargic, anxious, and/or lazy during the daytime.
2. These are risks/factors that cause insomnia:
Stress-related factors – significant personal events, such as losing a job, marital problems, stress and generaly worrying.
Uncomfortable sleeping environment (too much light or noise, uncomfortable temperature).
Unusual sleeping environment (e.g., a hotel room).
Changes in the daily rhythm, such as a change in work shift or jet lag.
Acute medical illness or their treatments.
3. What you can do with your insomnia:
Develop a regular sleeping schedule. Avoid daytime naps and stimulating activities just before bedtime.
Avoid stimulating drugs, such as caffeine and nicotine, particularly before going to bed.
Exercise during the day (but not in the late evening).
Avoid alcohol- it is a leading cause of poor sleep.
Minimize light and noise when trying to sleep..
Maintain a comfortable bedroom temperature.
Avoid heavy meals before bedtime. If hungry, eat a light carbohydrate snack.

It is frequent for older adults to sleep less deeply and for less time than they did earlier in life, and to experience fragmented sleep. But these normal changes in the sleep patterns of older adults do not mean that the sleep they get is enough-some experts believe older adults may need as much sleep as younger adults.
Take medication that includes: antihistamines; benzodiazepines; Ramelteon (Rozerem); melatonin; antidepressants; and Herbal medications such as valerian, chamomile, and kava-kava

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